What expected Cavs trade acquisition Rajon Rondo can provide

Rajon Rondo, Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images )
Rajon Rondo, Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images ) /

Based on reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Thursday, which you can view more on here, it’s expected that the Los Angeles Lakers’ Rajon Rondo will be traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers very soon.

The details of the trade have not been ironed out, but it appears that the likes of the partially-guaranteed Denzel Valentine could be dealt, where L.A. could simply waive him, to go with a second-round pick. Or a Cav on a minimum deal could be waived and Rondo could be acquired via just a second-round pick/cash.

Whichever route that ends up going, it will be very inconsequential to either team. This news comes off of the heels of the Cavs losing Ricky Rubio due to an ACL tear. Rubio was having a career-revitalizing season with Cleveland before suffering his season-ending injury and his production will be greatly missed by the Cavs.

Before his injury, Rubio was averaging 13.1 points, 6.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds. He played the backup point guard role perfectly and was an amazing mentor for Darius Garland. Garland will be blessed with another incredible mentor in Rondo who in his prime was one of the best at his position.

Sadly for the Cavs, Rondo is now far past his prime, however, he is still a capable player with one of the highest basketball IQ’s in the entire league. He was seeing little to no time on the floor with the Lakers this season, but, that is likely to change once he joins the Cavs. They are in dire need of a facilitator and floor general for the second unit with the absence of Rubio.

The biggest thing that Rondo will bring to the team is his passing. His scoring abilities have more or less left him in his age, but he is still one of the best passers in the NBA. Imagining the pick-and-rolls between Rajon Rondo and Evan Mobley along with the threat of a Rondo and Jarrett Allen pick-and-roll should excite Cavaliers fans.

Rondo has always elevated the level of play of all of his teammates, when he’s been bought-in, of course, but big men especially thrive when they are playing alongside Rondo. It will be interesting to see if the Cavaliers can get Rondo to buy in on the defensive end during the regular season. Even if he is a dud on defense during the regular season, his defensive level would elevate during the playoffs just as it did on the Lakers, if Cleveland were to get there; they could very well do so, it seems.

Once the playoffs begin, Rondo becomes a whole different player and it is very arguable that during the Lakers 2020 playoff run Rondo was the third-best player on the team. Again, we’ll have to see if the Cavaliers can get there, but they’ve started better than anyone could’ve anticipated so far.

The only big question mark with Rondo is if the Cavs coaching staff will be able to get him to buy into the system and process. He is known to be a player that does not always put forth the most effort if he is not happy in his current situation. Most notably he did this with the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings.

If they are unable to get him to buy in even during the playoffs, Cleveland will not be out too much. However, with the Cavs contending for a playoff spot and having a better record than the Lakers, they may be able to get the best that Rondo has to offer.

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If that is what ends up happening, the Cavaliers will once again steal an under-the-radar veteran point guard than can be a great facilitator, mentor, and leader for this young Cavs team and that is exactly what they need.